On March 30 1988 the struggle for a better world lost a fighter with the death of Manda Biles.
Right from the early seventies Manda was in the thick of the struggle for women’s liberation, gay liberation and workers rights.
Manda was active during the seventies in the Australian Union of Students (AUS) and played a key role in the AUS homosexual research project.
I first met Manda in the late seventies when she was a leader in a coalition campaigning against the Festival of Light (FOL)-sponsored tour by British bigot, Mary Whitehouse. I attended a workshop Manda ran at the 5th National Homosexual Conference in 1979 to discuss the success of the anti-FOL campaign.
At the time of her death, Manda worked at the Coburg Regional Office of the Department of Social Security. She was an activist in the Australian Clerical Officers Association (ACOA) and was union delegate for her office. One of Manda’s lasting contributions to the ACOA was her role in helping develop a union policy on combatting sexual harassment.
The cause of socialist feminism will sorely miss Manda Biles.